MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia called into Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland today whilst on her MSC Grand Voyage from Kiel (Germany) to New York (USA).
The ship 315-metre long 6,500 passenger ship is visiting for the first time.
Antonio Paradiso Managing Director, MSC Cruises UK and Ireland said, “It is a pleasure to be here in Belfast celebrating a milestone for both MSC Cruises and the Northern Irish cruise industry. Belfast Harbour is an institution to shipping and we are proud to continue to support the expansion of the cruise business with one of the largest ships in our fleet calling at the port. Today we have over 5,300 guests from more than 32 countries discovering the city and the surrounding areas, and we are delighted to be able to share such a beautiful part of the world with our guests.”
He added “As well as bringing guests to visit Northern Ireland, in 2018 we carried a record number of Northern Irish passengers on our ships to destinations around the world with popular destinations including the Western Mediterranean and the Caribbean.”
Michael Robinson, Belfast Harbour’s Port Director added, “Belfast Harbour has a long-standing relationship with MSC Cruises, with the cruise line making its first call to the port in 2013. We’re thrilled to welcome MSC Meraviglia as the largest cruise ship to ever visit Northern Ireland and we look forward to MSC Cruises ships returning again next year. The trend in the northern European cruise market is for ever-larger vessels and Belfast Harbour has already created a deep-water cruise quay and has invested in the development of a cruise terminal building in partnership with Visit Belfast and Tourism NI.”
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast stated, “Cruise tourism has become an important part of Belfast’s tourism mix bringing visitors from all over the world to the city, many of whom are here for the first time, and together with our partners at Belfast Harbour, we’re delighted to welcome MSC Meraviglia on its maiden call to Belfast.
“It’s a real testament to how Northern Ireland has firmly established itself as a European cruise destination that Belfast has been included on the itinerary of MSC Meraviglia and I am confident that the passengers and crew will have a great time in the city and receive the warmest of Belfast welcomes.”
MSC Meraviglia has 12 unique dining venues, 20 bars and lounges, a Mediterranean-style promenade featuring the longest LED Sky Screen at sea and world-class entertainment by Cirque du Soleil at Sea.
The ship which came into service in 2017, has spent the summer season sailing Northern Europe from Kiel Germany and is visiting Belfast as part of a 17-night transatlantic cruise from Kiel to New York visiting ports including Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Halifax. MSC Meraviglia will then spend several weeks exploring ports in North America and Canada, before making her way to Miami, sailing in the Caribbean, where she will become the first ship to call at MSC Cruises new private island in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, which will welcome its first guests on the 9th November.